The California State Legislature is busy finishing its work for this year before it goes into recess on September 13 and returns in January, 2020. Several bills of interest to the profession are still being considered and could be sent to the Governor for his signature or veto.
Independent Contractor Rules
AB 5 proposes to codify the Dynamex ruling of the California Supreme Court, a ruling which made significant changes to the independent contractor test in California. Importantly, AB 5 does modify the Dynamex ruling in limited circumstances, including a more flexible test for when an architectural firm contracts with a licensed architect for a service. But AB 5 faces strong opposition from several groups, including truckers and peer-to-peer rideshare service providers.
Historic Preservation Tax Credit
SB 451, which AIA California is jointly sponsoring with the California Preservation Foundation, creates a California tax credit for work performed on certified historic buildings. The tax credit is capped at $50 million, and would be available between 2021 and 2025. SB 451 faces its biggest legislative challenge this Friday, when the Assembly Appropriations Committee votes on whether to move the bill to the Assembly Floor, and to hold it due to its cost to the General Fund.
School Facility Bonds
AB 48 would place two bond initiatives before the voters, in 2020 and 2022, for K-Community College facilities. The 2020 ballot initiative would be for $13 billion dollars (the amount of the 2022 ballot initiative is not yet specified). AB 48 must be approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee this Friday if it is to be sent to the Governor before the Legislature recesses for remainder of the year.
Sales Tax on Services Update
Senator Robert Hertzberg’s SB 522 (Sales Tax on Services) was not brought up for a vote this year, but we understand Sen. Hertzberg is planning to bring the bill up for a vote in January of next year. This means AIA CA and our coalition partners will begin our targeted grassroots lobbying activity against SB 522 this fall, so you might receive a call-to-action from AIA CA urging you to contact your State Senator urging a “No” vote.
Also, the coalition of professional service providers formed to oppose SB 522, of which AIA CA is a member, will officially launch next week. The launch will include the unveiling of the coalition website. Look for more information in late September.